Herodotus: The Father Of Written History

The father of history Herodotus


This article will briefly cover Herodotus’s early life, career, being the father of history, personal life, and death. Known to the modern age as the Father of History, Herodotus lived an impressive life for someone from his time period.

Herodotus’s Early Life

Herodotus was born in 484 – 485 BCE in what was known as Anatolia. Various sources think he was born in Halicarnassus, although this is hotly debated. Halicarnassus was under Persian rule at the time of his birth and was originally a Dorian settlement. Despite this, he learned the Ionian and the local Dorian dialects during childhood. Learning the different dialects would come in handy for him later in life

His hometown was Dorian, although It had a vastly different worldview than other Dorian settlements at the time. This can be shown through the interest in and development of International trade from Halicarnassus compared to other Dorian settlements.


Herodotus’s Career

During his career, he visited Egypt, Tyre, Babylon, and many other areas. This, alongside second-hand and third-hand accounts from people he met along the way, he was able to gain a vast amount of knowledge about the ancient world through his various methods of inquiry.

However, before becoming a historian, he initially tried to write a travel guide. He was inspired by a similar travel guide that was popular at the time but had limited information. This would eventually change as he developed his techniques for inquiring locals about their past. His techniques would give a fair analysis of other people’s history and important events compared to other record keeping of the time.


The Father Of History

We know Herodotus as the father of history because of his work “The Histories.”. Originally “The Histories” was written in 425 BCE. Herodotus used the Ionian dialect he first learned as a child to write the original copy. It contains many different stories with varying amounts of truth.

However, as a historian, Herodotus did a decent job of not being biased when writing about other cultures and people. Many of the legends he wrote about were accurate in one way or another, while others were complete lies that he fell for.

You can purchase reproductions of it today in many different languages. To the right is an example of a modern copy printed in English.

the father of history  Herodotus career early life and death
Modern English printing of Herodotus’s “The Histories.”

Personal Life

During his early life, he moved to Athens. His personal view of the world made Athens a friendlier place for him. Athens has a similar view to Halicarnassus, but Athens was able to take those ideas further, which Herodotus must have enjoyed. Later, he moved to Thurii, which would have been located in modern-day southern Italy (Calabria). There is small evidence that he returned to Athens on certain occasions, but this cannot be known for certain.

Herodotus’s Death

We are not 100% sure where or when Herodotus’s death occurred. Some possible locations include Southern Italy, Athens, and even Macedonia. One piece of evidence for the age of his death is that nothing was written in the Histories past 430 BCE.

However, We don’t know this for sure. He could have just stopped writing in 430 BCE or lost the ability to write (eye site, aging, time). We know from this that he likely died sometime after age 60, meaning he lived a long and accomplished life and influenced human knowledge to the point that we know him as The Father of History.


Greek Coins

Herodotus traveled to and lived in many different Greek cities. Many of these cities minted their own coinage. Below is the link to the ancient Greek silver coins we currently have in stock.

Ionia, Miletos Circa 500 BC, Silver Diobol

Published by Invest in History Co.

We specialize in high-quality gold and silver coins. Focusing on Middle East, Eastern European, and Ancient coins. We carry Roman, Greek, Parthian, Phoenician, Celtic, Byzantine, Russian, Jewish, Islamic, and many other culture's coins.

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